Theft in Ohio has several levels of punishment depending on the value of the items stolen and the way it was obtained. For example, a person can be charged with grand theft, petty theft, robbery or burglary. A person can also be charged with theft of services, which is when someone doesn’t pay for a service they received, like a hotel room or a meal at a restaurant. A person can spend anywhere from 180 days to life in prison if charged.
According to Ohio Revised Code 2913.01, theft is defined as “the unauthorized appropriation, taking, carrying away, or use of another person’s property with the purpose of depriving them of it.” To be charged and convicted of theft in Ohio, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to deprive the victim of their property permanently. This means that even if a person borrows something without returning it, they can still be charged with theft.
Theft penalties in Ohio
If the value of what was stolen is less than $1000, it is considered petty theft and is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense. In contrast, if the value of what was stolen is more than $1000, it is considered grand theft and is typically charged as a felony offense.
The punishment for a misdemeanor could be a jail term of up to 180 days and a $1000 fine. A felony charge could result in one year to life in prison, depending on the value of what was stolen and the defendant’s prior criminal history.
Other factors that could affect your charge include:
- The use of a weapon during the commission of the theft
- Causing physical harm to the victim
- If the victim was a child or an elderly person
- The place where the theft occurred
If you have been charged with theft in Ohio, it is important to look at the intricate parts of your case to find defenses that you could use to help avoid a conviction. For example, you could prove to the court that you didn’t have the intent to deprive the victim of their property permanently or that you were falsely accused. You could also argue entrapment if you believe you were lured into committing the theft by law enforcement.